Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Al-Awda Launches New Palestinian Childrens's Rights Campaign

Oct. 27, 2010 Palestine News Network

Ramallah – PNN – Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, just launched a new program that will focus on Palestinian children’s rights that have been detained by Israel, as well as advocate for the immediate release of the children. ImageAl-Awda is an American non-profit organization that has mainly worked for the Palestinian right to return. According to their website they are “a broad-based, non-partisan, democratic and charitable organization of grassroots activist and students committed to comprehensive public education of the rights of all Palestinian refugees to return to their property in accordance with International Law.”

On October 27, Al-Awda launched a new Palestinian children’s rights campaign, with the intention of supporting the full restoration of Palestinian children’s rights in accordance with international law. This would include the children’s right to return to their homes of origin, to education and to medical and psychological care.

The Israeli army has killed 1,859 Palestinian children since September 28, 2000, according to the International Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights (ISFHR). This number accounts for the about one-third of the 7,407 Palestinians who have been killed by Israel in the same time period.

Defense for Children International (DCI) reports that there are about 700 Palestinian children, from the West Bank alone, that are imprisoned by Israel every year. Based on a survey taken by DCI of 100 imprisoned children in 2009, they found that 69% had been beaten and kicked and 32% were forced to sign confessions written in Hebrew, instead of their native language Arabic.

The severity of the situation for Palestinian children has lead Al-Awda to launch their campaign. The organization plans to produce factsheets that will be available to the International community, hold rallies and protest, organize lecture tours and other educational events.

Al-Awda is very active in the American and international community, their committee will meet with politicians, newspapers and editorial boards to publish calls and petition for actions to end the injustices. Through Al-Awda’s Annual International Convention, they plan to high light the problem to churches, clubs, student organizations, and mosques. Through fundraising, Al-Awada, hopes to provide financial support for the mental and physical health of Palestinian children.

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